Inspiring Scotland has drawn on experience in Australia, the USA and Europe to develop a new model of venture philanthropy tailored to Scotland which aims to:
- Deploy investment provided by strategic partners to maximum effect.
- Tackle key social issues in Scotland in a logical and thoughtful way, achieving positive and long-lasting social impact.
- Offer concerted and sustained support to voluntary organisations capable of addressing these issues.
- Attracting new money to the voluntary sector, by effectively evidencing need and then delivering clear social benefits.
- Develop learning through rigorous evaluation, sharing successes and failures openly with stakeholders and the wider voluntary sector.
This is the first time a venture philanthropy model has grown from within the voluntary sector. Its development was led by the Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, an experienced and respected grant making trust, and at the start of 2009 Inspiring Scotland became a fully independent organisation.
There is lots of great work being delivered by 23,000 charities across Scotland but it isn’t having the impact needed. Inspiring Scotland aims to tackle social issues in a different way, bringing greater cohesion and, through this, higher impact.
We and our partners have in-depth knowledge of the voluntary sector and the challenges facing these charities, which are typically small, local organisations. A significant challenge that has huge impact on their work is the way in which funding is delivered at present. This is typically short term – often for no more than a year at a time – and leads to problems such as:
Inability to plan beyond the available funding, leading to difficulty in delivering strategic work.
Too much bureaucracy, which decreases the time charities have to deliver their services.
Funding is often for projects or capital, rather than to sustain the core business of the charities.
Inspiring Scotland seeks to address these challenges with long-term funding, delivered in parallel to organisational development.